I’m currently trialing Skedpal. I’m hitting a problem with the following aspect:
80% of my tasks are single step tasks and I have put them all together in a folder-type project called “General”. These are non sequential tasks and are each set up with their own Plan For timescale.
The remaining 20% of my tasks are part of multi-step projects and are contained within Specific projects (I have approx 20 of these Specific projects). These also each have individual Plan For dates set up. I have arranged the Specific projects in order of importance from the top of the list down, and SkedPal recognises this order of importance when assigning my tasks. The General project is at the bottom of the list, as generally the Specific projects have higher importance.
However I am finding that a small number of the tasks in the General project at times become more important than some of the Specific projects, and SkedPal cannot take account of this when assigning tasks. I have avoided using priority flags for them as I believe the flags are intended to be reserved for use in highly critical instances, or to force tasks to be included from the Hot List.
Could you please advise how I can best handle this, and enable SkedPal to recognise the higher importance of these General tasks? They occur quite often, but there is only a small number of them at any time. They also change quite rapidly through the week, according to the dynamically changing work priorities of the Dept Managers who I work for.
Thanks Seth – I haven’t used that yet as I’m getting accustomed to the Windows app on my laptop first. Curate My Day looks quite similar to the Hot List functions on Windows, is it?
The problem I have is that there are some tasks in my General project which are not even appearing in Curate My Day yet because the General project is at the bottom of the project prioirity order. While that is the correct priority level where most of its tasks belong, as I said above there are some tasks within the General project that have become higher priority – but I don’t know how I can get SkedPal to recognise their higher priority.
Possible options I can think of are:
A. Create another project for “higher priority general tasks” and put this project further up in the list of projects. (But how much further up? It would contain tasks of higher priority but their priorities would still vary task by task.)
B. Escalate each of the higher priority general tasks to be a project in their own right. They could then be dragged to exactly the correct position in the projects priority list. But they would be just single-task projects.
But is there a better way of achieving the desired result? Neither of the above methods seem ideal. Maybe I’m overlooking a SkedPal function somewhere – I’m only a newbie I’m afraid! 🙂1 year, 1 month ago SethParticipant
Let me ask a couple of questions that can help me understand your prioritization:
- At what point do you realize the priority of a task in the ‘General’ project? Is it at the time of entry, or later on?
- What does priority mean to you? Does it mean that it has to be done by a certain date? Or, does it mean that you prefer to do them earlier than other projects?
In reply to your two questions Seth:
1 year, 1 month ago Seth ArBabianKeymaster
- With some tasks I know that they’re higher priority at the time of entry, but with others they become more urgent due to the dynamically changing priorities of the Dept Managers I work for from day to day. This can change on a daily basis.
- I know it’s important in task/project management to distinguish between Importance and Urgency – it’s all too easy to confuse them and think that Urgency means Importance! 🙂 Therefore I believe one of SkedPal’s strengths is in its ability to give sufficient weight to the Importance of tasks/projects and to not allow the Urgency of less important tasks to unduly reduce the true value of my day’s schedule. The problem I’m hitting is that I’m unable to assign individual Importance to 80% of my tasks, because they are single-step tasks. So SkedPal is unable to assess their true Importance in scheduling my day. If they were projects I could drag them to higher positions of Importance in the Projects List.
I’d recommend either of the following ways to manage your priorities in SkedPal:
- Instead of adding all the projects and tasks to your focus (another way of saying adding a plan for each and every project/task), set up a recurring review session to review your lists and decide what needs to go your calendar for the next few days. Then, set a plan exclusively for these cherry-picked items. This way, what will constitute the priority is not really the way you have organized your tasks but it will be the output of your review process. More details here.
- If the above doesn’t work for you, you can give a more urgent plan to your higher priority tasks. I understand this will not guarantee that they will be scheduled because being more urgent does not mean more important as you pointed. But, the way it will help is that your important tasks will either get scheduled or get added to the hotlist. Then, you can use Curate to help you triage the competing tasks.
OK thanks Seth, I’ll try something along those lines.
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